After upgrading my archaic desktop computer to a laptop, I enjoyed the freedom to combine my two favorite things – vacations and working. I know it may sound like a huge contradiction, but I’m a creature of habit and if I don’t check my email at least twice a day, it’s nearly as bad as not drinking a mug of coffee within half an hour of waking up.
The idea of upgrading as a little intimidating, but then I heard a podcast by James Martell and his son Justin. Justin is manager of one of Canada’s largest computer retailers and his advice was both practical and solid. He didn’t talk down to the listeners, and made it sound like anyone could take charge of the technology needed to run their own online business – even a freelance writer like me. And when the latest iPad became available, I finally caved in to pressure from my fellow bloggers and invested in a tablet as well. The difference it’s made in my work is phenomenal.
My iPad allows me to work smarter, which means the time spent working takes up a smaller portion of my day and leaving plenty of opportunity to do the things I’d rather be doing. While I still use my laptop for the bulk of my work, the apps, allow me to attend meetings, take notes, manage clients, brainstorm with other bloggers, and so much more. Here are some of the ones that I find most useful in my career as a freelance writer.
Most useful iPad apps:
Blogger – Even before it synced with Google, Blogger was one of the most popular sites for creating and keeping a blog. The app, although originally meant for iPhone, lets you manage multiple accounts, geotag, and view lists of posts that you’ve saved or published.
Dropbox – As a freelance author, I use Dropbox a lot. Not only can I share files with clients, but I can also have a handy backup copy of all my current projects, too. As with Blogger, this was originally meant to be an iPhone app, trust me that it also works just as well with the iPad.
Evernote for iPad – Take down notes with your camera, the iPad keyboard, or even audio using your voice. The best part is, Evernote synchronizes with my smartphone and laptop meaning updates sent to one device is immediately available on the others meaning I don’t have to waste time waiting for sluggish uploads or downloads.
SimpleSense – Do you use Google AdSense? This app allows you to see all your stats at a glance, like up-to-date information about what returns you’ve produced. Like Dropbox and Blogger, this was originally intended for the iPhone, but it seamlessly transitions to the iPad, too.
TweetDeck for iPad – I love Twitter, especially its use of hashtags. (You know, the little # symbol that goes along with a tweet.) I even took a course at a website called Corporate Writing Pro on how bloggers can make the best use of the feature. TweetDeck helps me follow trends and keep in touch while on the road.
WordPress – If you’re an iPad owner who uses WordPress on your computer, then you’ll love the app.
Unlike some tablet apps, it makes full use of the big screen making writing drafts, publishing new blog posts, and moderating visitor comments easier than ever.
Admittedly when I first got my iPad, I was as clueless as today’s teenager with a rotary telephone. You remember; the vintage precursor to wireless handsets? My friends and family were quick to offer advice for getting me up to speed, and I found several websites like locksondemand.com that offered additional information, like protecting an iPad from being stolen or reviews of products like iPad accessories.
Even when I’m not traveling with my laptop I can still use my iPad to blog wherever adventure leads, whether I’m in Kalamazoo or Cairo. Depending on your occupation or the nature of your blog, you can find a broad range of iPad apps to make blogging easier. The best part about the ones I listed – they’re all completely free, no strings attached! And if you have an iPhone, then you’re destined to get twice as much use out of them.
About the Author:
Jacob Richardson is a tech-savvy freelance author, but he wasn’t always. Instead of being tied to a desktop computer in his home office he now travels with an iPad. Of course, after buying the tablet he researched accessories that would help him get the best use out of his new gadget, like iPad kiosks and security cables. When Jacob isn’t researching information for a future writing project or writing compelling content for his blog, this outdoor enthusiast prefers spending time away from his gadgets with activities like camping or hiking.
Image courtesy of ilamont on Flickr.